I can’t believe three months have already passed since my jaw surgery. The details of how I felt the first week have already gone hazy and, happily, I’ve come to the end of the experience: my bruising is gone, swelling is gone, and my bones have supposedly fused back together. (Hitting me in the face should no longer be catastrophic. Still, this is no reason to hit me in the face.)
EATING: I can now eat just about anything. Yay! The last few restrictions are things like raw carrots, almonds, and other especially crunchy foods; I also have a bit of a size restriction as my mouth still does not open as wide as it did pre-surgery, making sandwiches, wraps, and other tall items a bit of a messy adventure. I still have to wear elastics, but only at night — during the day I am free to stretch, yawn, wiggle, and talk as much as possible.
PAIN: There are a couple of places around my jaw line that are slightly tender to touch, and occasionally my jaw cracks upon opening like the spine of a new book, but as a rule there is no more pain. I am also much less aware of my face than I was a few weeks ago: a good sign that things are starting to feel more normal. Parts of my chin are still a bit numb, and I have three more months to go before it becomes likely that that’s a permanent side-effect. (They say your results at six months will be the results overall.)
DO I LOOK DIFFERENT?: I’ve had a lot of friends and family members ask me if I think I look different, which suggests to me that they do not think I look different. In my opinion, yes I do look different, but it’s not a big change that affects my whole face; rather a localized change. Since other people look at the whole while we look at ourselves as parts, it’s more obvious to me.
WHAT’S NEXT: I met with the surgeon in Halifax back in March, and was given a big thumbs-up on my progress so far. I’ve returned to orthodontic treatment, and right now the goal is closing some artificial gaps that had been created in my teeth for the surgery. My next appointment is in two weeks, and at that time I hope to get a sense of how long I need to continue wearing braces. Many patients have theirs removed 6 months after surgery, so I’m hoping that’s accurate and that there’s only about 3 months left for me!